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Ecodesign and the vehicle life cycle: challenging received ideas!

At this time of year, we often hear about ecodriving, a driving method designed to limit fuel consumption and deliver savings. Did you know that your vehicle has been thought out and designed to limit its environmental impact, even before you take the wheel? From the choice of production materials through to recycling, via use and maintenance, today’s vehicles are designed and managed in such a way as to reduce their environmental impact to the greatest possible extent.

Following #meetPSAexperts on 28 April, In Movement invites you to take a closer look at the vehicle life cycle using this illustration.

cycle-de-vie_IM_Web

Have you found out more about ecodesign and the vehicle life cycle? I’m sure we still have a few received ideas to clear up!
I asked Louis David, expert in materials and processes, and Sophie Richet, expert in eco-design and the environment, to answer the questions most frequently raised: 

Cars end their lives in the scrapyard: FALSE
They’re recycled! Today, we have an efficient vehicle recycling system. A full 95% of each vehicle is recycled or recovered. The percentage purely recycled is 85%. Recovery involves taking advantage of the energy potential of materials that are difficult to recycle in order to use them as fuel.

Objects made from recycled materials are of poor quality: FALSE
Recycled materials can be brought back into the vehicle production flow and meet the same level of performance and safety as non-recycled materials. For example, the bumper of the Peugeot 208 is made entirely from recycled materials satisfying strict specifications.

Using natural materials reduces the environmental impact of vehicles: TRUE
Using hemp fibre rather than glass fibre in a plastic part reduces its impact on global warming by 14% during its life cycle. These materials contribute to making vehicles lighter and thus also reduce their emissions and environmental impact during production (water consumption slashed by 43%!).

The level of pollution from vehicle usage is as high as it was ten years ago: FALSE
PSA Peugeot Citroën is European leader for low CO2 emissions with an average of 116.2g/km in 2013. Vehicle impact on global warming is reduced by 20% on average with new-generation models and up to 45% with hybrid powertrains.
The New Citroën C4 Cactus is a good example of the efforts made in ecodesign and their impact. As a result of the efforts made to reduce vehicle weight (choice of materials and design), vehicles now consume less fuel. As a result, the lightest C4 Cactus weighs less than one metric tonne (965 kg). Lower fuel consumption (for just 82g of CO2/km or 3.1l/100 km for the BlueHDi 100 diesel version) delivers savings and limits environmental impact in use. As a result of studies to optimise vehicle weight, the consumption of wear parts has also been reduced significantly. Overall, the running costs of the New Citroën C4 Cactus are almost 20% lower than benchmark models on the compact hatchback segment. 

Has this article cleared up a number of received ideas for you? If not, post a comment with your questions!

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